Tourist Guide Paris

Paris by boat

Paris by boat

The Boats

The "Bateaux-Mouches" – the glass ships, also belong to the attractions that Paris has to offer. Almost every visitor to the city will take a boat ride that over 120 million people have already done. Actually these ships, whose decks are made of batons and glass for a better view, belong to the hallmark of Paris as even on the post cards on which the sites of Paris are depicted; one will find a picture of one of these boats. For the many tourists these boats that slowly sail along the Seine are the subject of great demand.

The History

The business idea for a ride on the Seine came from the Parisian business man Jean Bruel –who in 1900 bought the old boat – the old Mouche from the leftovers of the world exhibition and slightly refurbished it. The name of the ship is based on the name of the former shipping company/ocean liner Mouche in Lyon. The idea of the businessman was enthusiastically received – so much so that Bruel immediately bought another ship to use as a second excursion boat that would sail up and down the Seine. Three years later the first glass boat was ready to sail and meanwhile a total of 14 ships now sail the Seine.

The year of celebration

On the occasion of the 60-year celebration in June 2009 the French president Sarkozy insisted on an official speech in which the one-week celebration was ushered in that gave visitors a discounted price for the popular boat rides.

For this time period the evening dinners offered on theses boats were already fully booked by the end of 2008. During the season of the 60-year celebration, the company- managed by the daughter of the late company founder Charlotte Bruel-Matovic, employed a proud 600 personnel. Ordinarily during the summer only 400 people are usually employed, of which a total of 200 employees are permanent members of staff.

The Trip

Paris by boat: up and down the Seine

At a slow 6 kilometres per hour the passenger ships slowly chug up and down the Seine; their captains have all the time in the world when they e.g. have to wait for the bridge over the Saint Martin canal to open to the side. The captains simply ignore the honking horns and loud protests of motorists, as per the captain’s motto “good things take time”. Consequently in 2007 a heated discussion took place in parliament as to whether this luxury of rotating bridges could really be afforded in this day and age. A trip on the Seine in one of these glass boats is truly a unique experience.